The Story Behind Ñoquis del 29 / Gnocchi Day

The Legend Says

Back in the 18th Century, there was a young doctor called Pantaleon who converted to Christianity and traveled across Italy performing miraculous deeds. It was on the day of 29th that he was canonized and became Saint Pantaleon, one of the Patrons of Venice.

One famous story went like this: One day along his pilgrimage, he was in need for some food. He came by a farmer’s house and asked them for some food.

Even though the farmers themselves were very poor, they still offered him the little bread that they had; and in return, Saint Pantaleon blessed the farmers with great harvest the next year.

The following year, the farmers indeed produced a lot of crops and had the most prosperous year they ever had.

That’s how the 29th has become the day to eat inexpensively to honor St. Pantaleon.

The More down-to-earth legend

The Italian immigrants were on a meager salary. Since they got paid on the first of every month, by the end of the month, there wasn’t much money left and they could only afford an inexpensive meal.

So on the day before payday, ñoquis became the best option because not only they can be made cheaply, but also they are nutritional and very belly-filling.

Nowadays, when you eat your ñoquis dish, put money underneath your plate. After you finish the meal, if you carry that money with you, some say it will bring you luck. Others say you have to donate that money to charity in order to get good fortune.

We say, come to La Panetteria and look below your plate:) 

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